World Traveler Rhonda Delameter shares the highlights of her recent trip to Mexico, along with five reason why you shouldn’t miss this incredibly vibrant region.
Having just returned from the 10-day trip to Mexico’s Copper Canyon with my husband, I would love to share some of our favorite moments. Although the canyon is impressive in itself, there is SO much more to see on this adventurous vacation. What began as a surprise treat for my husband’s 50th birthday turned into an exciting adventure for both of us.
San Carlos is incredible
The drive south from Phoenix passes vast cactus-filled plains, rolling hills, and 300-year old missions. We soon found ourselves in the delightful beach town of San Carlos. Featuring a scenic harbor and beautiful beaches, San Carlos is a place that makes it easy to spend a couple of days. We spent an amazing morning sailing the bay, relaxed by the pool, visited a local pearl farm, and enjoyed a memorable dinner by the sea accompanied by an incredible sunset.
Alamos is amazing
The fun continued in Alamos, an intriguing colonial town that’s experiencing a resurgence; many of the original haciendas are now federally protected and under renovation. We loved wandering along the cobblestone streets and exploring the Moorish-inspired buildings and courtyards, which made it easy to slip back in time and imagine when this was one of the silver capitals of Mexico.
Colorful El Fuerte
Vibrant El Fuerte, the gateway to the Copper Canyon, was fantastic. Like Alamos, El Fuerte is one of Mexico’s Pueblo Magico towns, and more than lives up to that magical title. A working town, El Fuerte balances modern day life with all of the architecture and style of its hacienda history. With a peaceful central plaza surrounded by bustling street life, El Fuerte is perfect small town Mexico. We had a great time exploring the town before returning to our hacienda hotel to dine on the famous local black bass.
Authentic local restaurants
Near the end of this trip, we were lucky enough to experience a special lunch at La Cava Restaurant in Guerrero. We were hosted by the restaurants lovely owners, Alma and Paco, who greeted us as if we were entering their very own home. The wine flows freely at La Cava and we enjoyed a delicious 3-course meal, complimented by a theatrical poetry reading by Alma. Javier, their uber-efficient waiter somehow managed to successfully serve the entire group with awe-inspiring efficiency all while retaining a smile. We finished our meal with a slice of homemade apple pie and coffee – delicious! It was truly a lovely experience.
The Copper Canyon
Obviously, the main highlight of our vacation was the spectacular canyon. More than eight times larger than the Grand Canyon in total scope, the Copper Canyon is reached by train from El Fuerte. The railway, itself, is a remarkable engineering achievement, crossing 36 bridges and entering 87 tunnels along its entire 655km length. Once you have arrived in Posada Barrancas train station it is only a short distance to your hotel, precariously perched on the rim with breathtaking views. Nature hikes abound, with the added opportunities to go down into the canyon by gondola, experience the world’s longest zip line, and shop for beautiful baskets woven by the Tarahumara Indians. We loved every minute of our time at the canyon, from exploring on foot to sitting on our balcony and admiring the jaw-dropping landscapes that surrounded us.
We have traveled to Mexico many times over the years, but truly appreciated this less touristy region. The entire trip felt a bit like stepping back in time to a more authentic version of one of our favorite countries. Being able to stay at the renovated hacienda’s in Alamos and El Fuerte was a treat, and hanging out on our balcony on the rim of the glorious Copper Canyon was unforgettable.
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